At Indiana University, I was technically studying for a M.A. in English, but the variety of courses available at a gigantic university was overwhelming. What 22 year old from a small town in the Midwest could resist:
Tibetan Culture and Civilization
First Year Arabic
Or Russian Folklore?
I was a definite disadvantage in the Russian folklore class, since I didn't speak Russian or know anything about the scientific study of folklore.
All of the other students were Russian majors, researching the folklore motifs in Dostoevski or Gogol. I was interested in...um...um..the mythology of the ancient Slavs?
Well, mythology is sort of like folklore, right?
The Professor, Dr. Kirtis, was a Hungarian bear, in his 50s, white haired, bearded, a little chubby, with thick arms and chest hair peeking up over the top of his shirt. A little old for me, but it was hard not to be attracted to his ravenous energy as he paced the classroom, arms flailing, as he pontificated on the Firebird Suite or Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka or Afanasyev's folktale collection.
Not to mention his obvious beneath-the-belt gifts, a gigantic Mortadella shifting around inside his black dress slacks.